By Mahmoud Barakat
A Doha-based body of Muslim scholars Thursday called on all Muslims to show solidarity with Rohingya Muslims, who have been exposed to violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.
In a statement, International Union of Muslim scholars (IUMS) said it is a duty of all Muslims to support Rohingya by all means, asking leaders to make political efforts and relief agencies to provide aid to the persecuted minority in Myanmar.
Sheikh Ali al-Qaradaghi, Secretary General of IUMS, urged the Islamic world to focus on plight of Rohingya in the next Friday’s sermon.
“The situation in Arakan [Rakhine state] is shameful to the whole world and its governments, institutions, politicians, intellectuals and scholars. Thousands of people are being killed and displaced and nobody cries for them,” al-Qaradaghi said.
He thanked all those who supported their “Muslim brothers in Myanmar”.
According to the UN, 164,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh as tens of thousands more were internally displaced by the latest violence.
Rakhine state has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.
In a security crackdown launched last October in the state’s northern Maungdaw district, the UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances.
The report found evidence of human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.
Rohingya representatives said around 400 people were killed in the crackdown.
In recent weeks, the government has boosted its military numbers in Maungdaw, and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) claimed responsibility for attacks in which the government said dozens were killed.
The ARSA said the attacks were in response to raids, killings, and looting by soldiers.